An old friend that I hadn't seen in person for about 13 years called me to tell me of a High School Reunion later this year. He said he had retired last year to his mountain retreat. He mentioned an old friend of mine that I went to high school with that passed on in his thirties. I said how my friend had been very loyal to his girlfriend and married early in college but I knew that he emotionally really wasn't ready to be married and that I wasn't surprised when my friend died. He was a very loyal person and a very good friend to me. However, unless one can find a way to be loyal to oneself first, often this loyalty to others can be fatal in one way or another.
As a loyal friend myself I can understand this first hand better than most people because once I give my friendship I am the kind of person who is loyal to the death. This isn't always a good thing and I had to learn this the hard way during my late teens and 20s. But by my thirties and before I started to be very careful who I let be my friend beyond and acquaintance. If you are a very loyal and trustworthy friend it is very important to pick friends that actually deserve this kind of trust.
If one doesn't learn pretty early on to be loyal to oneself first, then one often doesn't make it out of their teens or twenties either sane or alive. Loyalty to oneself is about being true to yourself. If you aren't true to yourself above family, friends or even country then often you won't survive to be 30. This is a very hard lesson those over 30 mostly have learned the hard way.
So, in the end unless you can be true to yourself first your absolute loyalty to others can only get you killed or worse. This is a hard lesson and the graveyards are full of people who didn't learn it soon enough.
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